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Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Saint Paul An Account of the Old and New Buildings with a Short Historical Sketch   By:

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An Account of the Old and New Buildings with a Short Historical Sketch



Rector of Wetherden, Suffolk

[Illustration: Photochrom Co. Ltd. Photo. ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL, FROM THE SOUTH BANK OF THE THAMES.]

[Illustration: (Arms of the See)]

With XXXIX Illustrations

London George Bell & Sons 1900


The MSS. relating to St. Paul's are deficient in regard to the earlier periods, but become gradually more complete as time progresses. They have been published or quoted, probably, more extensively than those belonging to any other religious foundation in this country, unless it be such communities as St. Alban's, which have attracted the continued attention of the editors working under the Master of the Rolls. In consequence, although our knowledge, not only of the Romano British period but of many succeeding centuries, is defective or altogether wanting, yet as time advances after the Norman Conquest the merely printed material at our disposal becomes gradually almost embarrassing. When we come to the present Cathedral, we know not only exactly when it was built, but to a great extent how and why .

In the Parentalia Wren's grandson, Stephen, partly in his own words, partly in those of his famous grandfather, lifting the curtain, discloses the personal history and inner self of the architect at his work.

Among the leading authorities are the following, giving the place of honour to the

Parentalia or Memoirs. Completed by his [Sir Christopher's] son, Christopher. Now published by his grandson, Stephen Wren, Esq. (London, 1858).

The History of St. Paul's , by Sir William Dugdale (Ellis' edition, 1818).

Repertorium , by Richard Newcourt (London, 1708).

Radulfi de Diceto, Decani, Lundoniensis Opera Historica (vols. i. and ii., edited for the Master of the Rolls by the Bishop of Oxford).

I have to thank the Dean for permission to consult the Chapter copy of the Registrum Statutorum , edited for private circulation (1873) by that enthusiastic and accurate St. Paul's scholar, the late Dr. Sparrow Simpson, one of the last of the Minor Canons on the old foundation, Librarian and Sub dean. There is a supplement (1897).

Dr. Sparrow Simpson also wrote or edited the following

Documents Illustrating the History of St. Paul's Cathedral (Camden Society, 1880).

Chapters in the History of Old St. Paul's (1881).

Visitation of Churches (Camden Society, 1885).

Gleanings from Old St. Paul's (1889).

St. Paul's and Old City Life (1894).

His remaining work, the Catalogue of the Library, I have not consulted.

Annals of St. Paul's , by Dean Milman (1868).

The learned and talented historian did not live to see this his last work through the press. In consequence there are printer's errors as to dates, &c., which I have not thought it necessary to point out.

Domesday of St. Paul's , by Archdeacon Hale (Camden Society, 1858).

The Three Cathedrals dedicated to St. Paul , by William Longman (Longmans, 1873).

Amongst other sources of information are the lectures delivered in St. Paul's by Bishop Browne when a residentiary, and published by the S.P.C.K. The value of these to the students of early Church History is in an inverse ratio to their size. The origin of our secular colleges yet remains to be written; but I am again indebted to Mr. Arthur Francis Leach for the Introduction to the Visitations of Southwell (Camden Society, 1891), for valuable information on this subject.

In regard to the efforts to complete Wren's designs by mosaic decorations, I have carefully observed all that has been done, and have attentively followed much that has been said and written. In particular I have been interested by a statement that has gone the round of the press. Certain young ladies and gentlemen of the Slade School of Art and elsewhere are reported to have protested that even good and appropriate decoration would be contrary to the wishes of Sir Christopher Wren... Continue reading book >>

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